Strathclyde Telegraph

Seeing through Sheeran’s charade

By Paul Ewins (@spewins)

You’ve got to hand it to Ed Sheeran. He’s got a number one album and has nine songs in the top ten. He’s also recently been announced as the third Glastonbury headliner. Pretty good going for a wee specky ginger lad. Not your typical pop star, not at all.

With the release of each album, Sheeran has been gradually upgrading himself. When his debut album, +, was released in 2011 he became akin to Little Boy; following the 2015 record x, the English singer songwriter had propelled himself up to an Ivy King; however, with the latest release ÷, wee Ed has blown up into a Tsar Bomba. Sadly though, it’s not nuclear explosions wiping out human kind that he deals in – it’s a cataclysm of contrived pop music.

I’ve seen a lot of people (admittedly on Twitter), go on about how RAW and REAL wee Ed’s new album is. But when listening to it, and I can’t bring myself to listen to much, I’m flabbergasted with what I see being described to me as “raw”. So much so, that I have taken it upon myself to reply to each and every one of them with a link to Fugazi’s Waiting Room. After all, these people can’t be disregarded as idiots (I am told), but merely uneducated. This isn’t me saying that Fugazi are for everyone – they’re not, thankfully – but if you’re going to describe Ed Sheeran as “raw”, then it is only fair you are exposed to actual raw music, rather than some fucking processed beat with a relatively simple guitar riff over it.

Not only is Ed Sheeran’s music processed beyond belief, a fair amount of it is also stolen. Three of his biggest songs to date all see lovely wee Ed steal both melodic and rhythmic parts from songs in shameless style. Last year, Sheeran was sued for plagiarising twice. The first was from songwriters Martin Harrington and Thomas Leonard who wrote Amazing which was recorded by Matt Cardle. Ed was accused of stealing from the song and planting it directly into the chorus of his song Photograph.

Not that I’m biased against Sheeran, but they are the exact same. He was also accused of stealing the rhythm for Thinking Out Loud from Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On. But did he stop there? Of course not, he’s only gone and done it again on his new single, Shape Of You. TLC have been given songwriting credits after wee Ed admitted he stole from their song No Scrubs. 

Ed Sheeran, you bastard.

He might seem sweet and innocent to those looking at him from afar, what with his penchant for using nostalgia and sentimentality to express how he’s such a nice guy. And he’s clambered over so many obstacles to get to where he is, proving that he is just a normal lad, who busked his way to the top with nothing more than a guitar. It just couldn’t be less true though. He is the son of art consultants, hailing from a middle class background. And the only hurdle he has made it over is his ginger, geeky-guy look – but he’s somehow used that to further his career as the overachieving outsider. Now as the biggest popstar in the world, it’s becoming difficult to see how the charade as pop’s underdog can last. Sadly though, it doesn’t look like it will anytime soon.